Profile: Clay Cofer

Part-time Lecturer

Department of History

Clay M. Cofer is teaching the History of the Ancient Near East in the fall of 2016.  He received his A.B. in Classical Civilizations from Davidson College in 1999 and his Ph.D. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in 2015.  His research interests span the Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds and include the historical and visual narratives of empires, interconnections between the Near East and the Classical world, ancient astronomy and astrology, and ancient botany and horticulture.  His dissertation, entitled “The Ara Pacis Augustae and the Ancient Understanding of Grafting,” examines ancient accounts of grafting and finds that the horticultural technique is an important cultural and political metaphor for Roman culture in the time of Augustus.  He is an assistant director of the Athienou Archaeological Project on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where for the past 19 years he has engaged in fieldwork and has studied ancient Cypriot sculpture, particularly a corpus of statuettes representing the god Pan that date from the Hellenistic period.

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